God asked Ezekiel, “Son of man, can these bones live?” (Ezekiel 37:3).
What a penetrating question. God asks the same of us today: “Can the dry bones in your situation come to life? Can your rebellious child be revived? Can your unsaved loved ones be brought to Christ?”
It is a question of faith: “Do you believe this can happen?” It is also a question of desire: “Do you want this to happen? Are you grieved by the dry bones in your life?” If your answer is no, that’s a sign of dryness—a lack of spiritual unction (passion) over the dark condition of the world.
Here was Ezekiel’s answer: “O Lord God, you know” (37:3). This was a response of trust: “Lord, only You know these things. You have given me a vision of horrific death. Are You suggesting these bones can live? Is it really possible?” The very question had roused Ezekiel’s faith. It was what God was waiting to hear, and He does the same with us to stimulate our faith.
“Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy over these dry bones’” (37:4). Once our faith is engaged—once we have waited on God and He has stirred our faith—He calls us to action. He asks us to “prophesy”—that is, to address our dry bones situation in faith. We are to speak life into our families, believing that God empowers our words. We are to speak life on our jobs, knowing that He holds us in His hand no matter how dark the environment. To do this, God must breathe His life into our being: “I will . . . put breath in you, and you shall live” (37:6).
God did just that for Ezekiel. The prophet testifies, “So I prophesied as I was commanded” (37:7). Can you say this about your walk with God? “I spoke blessings and peace into people’s lives. I also said difficult things. I said everything the Lord wanted me to say, and through it all I knew He was with me.” That is the power of the proclamation of the gospel.
What happened when Ezekiel prophesied in faith? “There was a sound, and behold, a rattling” (37:7). The word “sound” here echoes Acts 2, when the Holy Spirit breathed new life into the disciples at Pentecost. Ezekiel witnessed something similar, as suddenly all the dry bones on the valley floor were animated, filled with life. They came together to form living bodies: “I will lay sinews upon you, and will cause flesh to come upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, and you shall live, and you shall know that I am the Lord” (37:6).